• unlimited access with print and download
    $ 37 00
  • read full document, no print or download, expires after 72 hours
    $ 4 99
More info
Unlimited access including download and printing, plus availability for reading and annotating in your in your Udini library.
  • Access to this article in your Udini library for 72 hours from purchase.
  • The article will not be available for download or print.
  • Upgrade to the full version of this document at a reduced price.
  • Your trial access payment is credited when purchasing the full version.
Buy
Continue searching

Shared display rules and emotional labor in work teams

Dissertation
Author: William J. Becker
Abstract:
Emotions are an important part of the workplace. Emotional labor describes the monitoring and management of one's emotions at work. Employees perform emotional labor in response to explicit and perceived display rules for emotional expressions in the workplace. While compliance with these rules is generally beneficial for the organization, it may be detrimental to employee well-being. This study proposes a process model of emotional labor that extends from display rules to job attitudes and behaviors. It is unique in that it investigates display rules and emotional labor at the group level of analysis. It also includes coworkers as well as customers as targets of emotional labor. Display rule commitment is proposed as an important moderator between emotional labor and important individual job attitudes and behaviors that may account for previously mixed findings in the literature. The hypotheses of this study received general support. Specifically, group level display rules and emotional labor were viable constructs that had important consequences for job outcomes. Display rule commitment was an important predictor of job attitudes and behaviors and moderated the relationship between group level surface acting and emotional exhaustion. In addition, group level emotional labor showed a significant effect on a number of important job outcomes. It also moderated the relationship between individual level emotional labor and job attitudes and behaviors. These findings provide several promising new insights and directions for emotional labor research.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

LIST OF TABLES ...............................................................................................................9

LIST OF FIGURES ...........................................................................................................10

ABSTRACT .......................................................................................................................11

CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ......................................................................................12

CHAPTER 2 THEORY AND HYPOTHESES ................................................................14 Emotions .........................................................................................................................14 Mood ...........................................................................................................................15 Why study emotions not mood ....................................................................................16 A neuroscience model of emotion ...............................................................................16 Display Rules .................................................................................................................18 Types of display rules .................................................................................................19 Impact of display rules ...............................................................................................20 Display rules for coworkers .......................................................................................22 Group display rules ....................................................................................................24 Emotional Labor .............................................................................................................26 Is the distinction between deep and surface acting viable .........................................28 Emotional labor strategy selection .............................................................................30 Group level emotional labor ......................................................................................31 Targets of emotional labor .........................................................................................32 Outcomes of Deep and Surface Acting .........................................................................33 Emotional exhaustion .................................................................................................33 From emotional labor to emotional exhaustion .........................................................36 Different relationships between surface/deep acting and emotional exhaustion .......37 Display rule commitment and emotional exhaustion .................................................40 Emotional Labor, Emotional Exhaustion, and Job Attitudes .........................................43 Emotional labor and job satisfaction .........................................................................43 Emotional labor and organizational commitment ......................................................44 Emotional labor and turnover intentions ...................................................................45 Emotional exhaustion and job attitudes .....................................................................46 Emotional Labor, Emotional Exhaustion, and Job Behaviors .......................................47 Emotional exhaustion and job performance...............................................................47 Emotional exhaustion and organizational citizenship behaviors ...............................48 Group Level Aggregation ...............................................................................................49

7

TABLE OF CONTENTS--CONTINUED

CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY ...............................................................51 Sample ............................................................................................................................51 Procedure ........................................................................................................................53 Measures .........................................................................................................................53 Display rules ...............................................................................................................53 Emotional labor – deep acting ...................................................................................54 Emotional labor – surface acting ...............................................................................55 Display rule commitment ............................................................................................55 Emotional exhaustion .................................................................................................55 Organizational commitment .......................................................................................55 Turnover intentions ....................................................................................................56 Job satisfaction ...........................................................................................................56 Job performance .........................................................................................................56 Organizational citizenship behaviors .........................................................................56 Control variables ........................................................................................................57

CHAPTER 4 RESULTS ...................................................................................................58 Validation of Scales and Aggregation ............................................................................58 Display rules ...............................................................................................................58 Emotional labor ..........................................................................................................61 Group level display rules............................................................................................62 Group level emotional labor ......................................................................................64 Hypothesis Tests ............................................................................................................64 Group level display rules and emotional labor ..........................................................64 Emotional exhaustion .................................................................................................68 Job satisfaction ...........................................................................................................70 Organizational commitment .......................................................................................71 Turnover intentions ....................................................................................................72 Job performance .........................................................................................................74 Organizational citizenship behaviors .........................................................................75

CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION .............................................................................................77 Future Research Directions and Practical Implications .................................................83 Limitations .....................................................................................................................85

CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSIONS ........................................................................................88

8

TABLE OF CONTENTS--CONTINUED

APPENDIX A NURSE SURVEY ....................................................................................89

APPENDIX B SUPERVISOR SURVEY .........................................................................92

REFERENCES ..................................................................................................................93

9

LIST OF TABLES Table 1: Descriptive Statistics and Intercorrelations for Individual Level Variables ........58

Table 2: Summary of Confirmatory Factor Analysis Fit Statistics ....................................60

Table 3: Descriptive Statistics and Intercorrelations for Group Level Variables ..............65

Table 4: Hierarchical Regression Results for Group Level Variables ...............................66

Table 5: HLM Results for Hypotheses 2 and 3 Regarding Emotional Exhaustion ...........69

Table 6: HLM Results for Hypotheses 4a and 5a for Job Satisfaction ..............................71

Table 7: HLM Results for Hypotheses 4b and 5b for Organizational Commitment ........72

Table 8: HLM Results for Hypotheses 4c and 5c for Turnover Intentions .......................74

Table 9: HLM Results for Hypotheses 6a and 7a for Job Performance ............................75

Table 10: HLM Results for Hypotheses 6b and 7b for OCBs ..........................................76

10

LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1: Cross-level Process Model of Emotional Labor.................................................13

Figure 2: Path Model Results for Group Level Variables ................................................67

Figure 3: Display Rule Commitment as a Moderator of the Relationship between Emotional Labor and Emotional Exhaustion ....................................................................70

11

ABSTRACT

Emotions are an important part of the workplace. Emotional labor describes the monitoring and management of one’s emotions at work. Employees perform emotional labor in response to explicit and perceived display rules for emotional expressions in the workplace. While compliance with these rules is generally beneficial for the organization, it may be detrimental to employee well-being. This study proposes a process model of emotional labor that extends from display rules to job attitudes and behaviors. It is unique in that it investigates display rules and emotional labor at the group level of analysis. It also includes coworkers as well as customers as targets of emotional labor. Display rule commitment is proposed as an important moderator between emotional labor and important individual job attitudes and behaviors that may account for previously mixed findings in the literature. The hypotheses of this study received general support. Specifically, group level display rules and emotional labor were viable constructs that had important consequences for job outcomes. Display rule commitment was an important predictor of job attitudes and behaviors and moderated the relationship between group level surface acting and emotional exhaustion. In addition, group level emotional labor showed a significant effect on a number of important job outcomes. It also moderated the relationship between individual level emotional labor and job attitudes and behaviors. These findings provide several promising new insights and directions for emotional labor research.

12

CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION As human beings, we are keenly aware that our emotions are important to how we experience and react to the world around us. The limbic system, our emotional center, is one of the oldest structures within the brain and is common to all higher order animals (Kolb & Whishaw, 2008). Our emotional responses to challenges in the environment have evolved over millennia, but may sometimes be ill-suited for managing social interactions in the dynamic, modern world (Izard, 2009). As a result, we often feel internal and external pressure to monitor and manage our natural emotional feelings and expressions. Organizations are increasingly taking an active role in prescribing and monitoring the emotional displays of employees in all aspects of the work domain (Ashkanasy, 2003). In response, there has been renewed interest on the part of organizational scholars to explore how emotions affect organizational and individual outcomes. This study endeavors to expand the extant research on display rules and emotional labor by incorporating emotional labor within work groups and developing a group-level model of emotional labor outcomes. This study will investigate a process model by which display rules lead to the performance of emotional labor, which in turn leads to burnout and job related outcomes. In doing so, it will make several important contributions to the literature. First, by examining the perceptions and behaviors of nursing teams in a single large hospital, it will be one of the first studies to operationalize and investigate display rules at the group level. Second, it will include display rules and emotional labor directed towards

13

coworkers as well as patients/customers. Third, this study will investigate a number of potential mediators between display rules and outcome variables including commitment, satisfaction, performance, turnover, and customer care. Figure 1 provides a framework for the current study. It shows that I predict cross-level effects of group level norms on individual outcomes, attitudes, and behaviors.

FIGURE 1: Cross-level Process Model of Emotional Labor

Deep Acting Emotional Exhaustion Surface Acting Attitudes • Commitment • Job Satisfaction • Turnover Intentions Group Level Individual Level Display Rule Level H1 Rule Commitment Behaviors • Performance • OCBs H1 H2a H2b H3 H5 H7 H3

14

CHAPTER 2 THEORY AND HYPOTHESES In the remainder of the introduction, I will review the theoretical basis and empirical findings in order to develop the primary hypotheses of this study. I will begin by introducing recent developments in emotion theory. Then I will discuss display rules and emotional labor. I will then proceed to the most proximal outcome of emotional labor – emotional exhaustion. Finally, I will finish by connecting emotional labor and exhaustion to more distal but organizationally relevant outcomes. These include job attitudes and behaviors. Emotions

It is necessary to first define emotions and differentiate among emotions, moods, and dispositional affect because these concepts have frequently been confounded or treated equivalently in previous research (Ashkanasy, 2003). Emotions are intense, automatic, unbidden but short-lived responses to specific stimuli in the environment (Brief & Weiss, 2002; Buck, 1999). Emotions are characterized as having at least three critical components (Cacioppo, 1999; Ekman, 1984). For one, emotions embody visceral feeling states. These feeling states originate in old brain structures and are capable of interrupting ongoing goal directed behavior (Izard, 2009). Second, emotions initiate cognitive reflection and convey information. Once an emotional feeling state is realized, a cognitive process is initiated to interpret and to respond to the emotion. Lastly, discrete emotions include behavioral tendencies for action and expression. In fact, Ekman and Friesen (1975) provide compelling evidence that facial expressions of emotion are

15

involuntary and relatively universal across cultures. Also, the action tendency for very intense emotions may be so strong as to overwhelm cognitive reflection, such as when we lash out at a perceived aggressor. Neuroscience has recently provided a new perspective on the interactions between emotion and cognition that influence what we feel and do (e.g. Damasio et al., 2000; Greene, Nystrom, Engel, Darley, & Cohen, 2004; Izard, 2009). Izard (2007, 2009) has proposed a new emotional paradigm that is especially applicable to this study and incorporates these findings from neuroscience. This new paradigm has already been adopted within the management literature by Spence and Rupp (2009), and I will build upon it further here. This paper will be concerned with the interaction between basic emotions and emotion schemas; therefore I will briefly define other related constructs and differentiate them from emotion. Mood. Brief and Weiss (2002, p. 282) define moods as “generalized feeling states that are not typically identified with a particular stimulus and not sufficiently intense to interrupt ongoing thought processes.” Moods are generally classified as positive or negative feelings that linger for hours or days following an emotional event or result from a number of relatively insignificant events (Kelly & Barsade, 2001). Moods can often persist below consciousness and do not actively engage cognition. Moods have been shown to exert an influence on behavior (Loewenstein & Lerner, 2003; Tsai & Huang, 2002) and decision making (Isen, 2000; Isen & Geva, 1987). However, moods do not carry the same intensity or biological imperative for behavior that are present in emotion (Ashkanasy, 2003; Brief & Weiss, 2002; Buck, 1999). In summary, moods can follow

16

from emotions or influence the range and intensity of emotions that are experienced. In addition, moods can have an indirect impact on behavior, but moods do not carry the concrete behavioral tendencies that discrete emotions do. Why study emotions and not moods? There are a number of valid reasons why the body of previous research into display rules and emotional labor has dealt with emotions and not moods. As we have seen, while emotions and moods are related, the differences between them are critical to the phenomenon that underlie this study. For one, discrete emotions and not moods are associated with unique behavioral tendencies and facial expressions that are important to understanding how individuals respond to affective events at work (Weiss & Cropanzano, 1996). For example, Lerner and Keltner (2001) demonstrated that anger and fear have unique appraisal tendencies that drive distinct decision making behavior. Additionally, the research program of Ekman (1984; Ekman & Friesen, 1975) has shown that emotive facial expressions are relatively automatic and universal across cultures and that these displays are inherently linked to emotion and not mood. Facial expressions provide an important form of social communication. Once again emotions and not moods provide an important communicative role in workplace social interactions. Therefore, it is clear that emotions not moods are the appropriate constructs of concern to research into display rules and emotional labor. The remainder of this paper deals specifically with felt emotions, emotional displays, and the interaction between discrete emotions and cognition. A neuroscience model of emotion. The Izard (2007) paradigm of emotion establishes two temporal phases of emotion: basic emotions and emotion schemas. Basic

17

emotions are universal, automatic affective feelings generated by the old brain structures of the limbic system and are present in humans from birth (Anderson, 2007; Ekman & Friesen, 1975; Izard, 2007). Basic emotions can be classified as positive (joy, interest), negative (sadness, anger, disgust, fear) or fundamental (shame, guilt, contempt). Basic emotions can be thought to arise as an automatic response to stimuli without conscious control. They are linked to specific behavioral tendencies that drive stereotypical approach or avoidance response strategies (Buck, 1999). For example, even infants react to goal blockage with verbal and autonomic expressions of anger (Stenberg & Campos, 1990). Lerner and Keltner (2001) demonstrated that fear led individuals to avoid risk, while angry individuals were more likely to make riskier decisions. Once a basic emotion is manifested, the cognitive dimension of the human mind attempts to interpret and understand the emotional response. This continuing interaction between cognition and emotion leads to the development of emotion schemas that connect emotion and cognition to action (Izard, 2009). Emotion schemas are defined as emotion – cognition patterns of interaction that allow individuals to respond to basic emotion in a manner that is appropriate for the situation. They are characterized by increased activity in the executive control region of the brain, the prefrontal cortex (Banks, Eddy, Angstadt, Nathan, & Phan, 2007; Beauregard, Levesque, & Bourgouin, 2001; Goldin, McRae, Ramel, & Gross, 2008). Individuals with damage to these areas of the brain frequently are unable to moderate their emotional responses and often behave inappropriately (Kolb & Whishaw, 2008).

18

Once a cognitive schema is engaged, there is a dynamic interaction between the affective and cognitive systems that produces complex feeling states and behaviors in order to conform with personal goals and values, and to social norms (Izard, 2009). As the interaction progresses, felt emotions may change and different emotion schemas may become engaged. Emotion schemas occur when our conscious mind seeks to interpret and moderate our basic emotion responses. These schemas can be influenced by appraisal processes, memories, goals, values, and social norms. Display Rules Researchers have begun to explore the question of how individuals know what emotional expressions are appropriate for a particular situation. In the organizational context display rules can be defined as “the formal and informal norms used by an organization to manage emotional expression” (Cropanzano, Weiss, & Elias, 2004, p. 46). With this definition in mind, it is easy to see that display rules play an important role in the emotion schemas that will be utilized by employees. Display rules govern the expression of emotions that are experienced at work. From an organization’s perspective, unbridled display rules could be problematic because the “wrong” emotional expressions may create undesirable outcomes such as unhappy customers. For this reason, many firms find it beneficial to regulate employee emotional displays. Fortunately, controlling emotional expressions can be accomplished by establishing strong norms and expectations for displays. This can foster the development of emotional schemas to produce appropriate displays. I will revisit this issue later in the paper.

19

Types of Display Rules. Researchers have suggested a number of display rule taxonomies (Ashforth & Humphrey, 1995; Grandey, 2000; Wharton & Erickson, 1993). A common theme among these taxonomies suggests that emotional displays can be categorized as either integrative or differentiating in nature (Cropanzano et al., 2004). Integrative emotions are generally positive in tone and bring individuals together (e.g. affection, joy). In contrast, differentiating emotions are negative in tone and drive people apart (e.g. anger, disgust). This simple taxonomy yields three general types of display rules: displaying positive emotion, displaying negative emotion, and suppressing all emotion. Each of these taxonomies also posits that display rules are derived from multiple higher level influences (culture, occupation, organization). I will take this issue up in depth later in the paper. For now, I will briefly discuss the support for each of the general types of display rules in the workplace. The first involves display rules for expressing positive emotions. Being kind and pleasant to others is a central tenet of most modern societies. This influence carries over into the workplace. An oft-cited study of Disneyland employees revealed how new employees were bombarded with inspirational films and hearty pep talks extolling them to act happy and cheerful so that their guests would do the same (Vanmaanen & Kunda, 1989). More recently, Beal and colleagues (2006) investigated cheerleader camp instructors who were encouraged at all times to present a positive attitude and foster excitement, enthusiasm, and fun. Occasionally, there may be display rules for expressing negative emotions. Encouraging employees to express negative emotion in the workplace seems somewhat

20

unusual. A few of studies have reported instances when doing so proved more effective for achieving organizational goals than positive emotions. Sutton’s (1991) investigation of bill collectors revealed that training and informal norms encouraged employees to respond to delinquent customers with a range of negative emotions from urgency to irritation depending on the debtor temperament and response. On the whole, this seems to be less common than expressing positive emotions. Often there are also display rules for suppressing emotions. Employees are frequently required to maintain relatively flat affect in stressful situations. Rafaeli and Sutton (1987) reported how professional poker players must mask their emotions in order to be successful. The medical profession is widely acknowledged to encourage doctors and nurses to maintain a certain level of detachment from patients (e.g. Playle, 1995; Rafaeli & Sutton, 1987). By and large display rules for suppressing emotions are targeted toward negative emotions, although Cropanzano and colleagues (2004) provide several examples of positive emotion suppression. One compelling example involves limiting one’s celebration of individual success in order to avoid being seen as boastful or creating divisiveness within work groups. Most often, suppressing negative emotion is not required simply to display flat affect but as a precursor to displaying positive emotion. Hochschild (1983) provides such an example in the case of a stewardess who was forced to respond to a crass advance by a passenger with a friendly smile. Impact of display rules. Display rules have been tied to a number of important organizational performance outcomes (Diefendorff & Gosserand, 2003). This is especially true in service organizations where an important aspect of what the

21

organization provides is customer treatment (Cropanzano et al., 2004; Hochschild, 1979). Tsai (2001; Tsai & Huang, 2002) has provided evidence that the positive emotional displays of store clerks can be positively related to customer reactions. When clerks perceived greater expectations for customer service, they reported more frequent positive displays toward customers. These displays did not seem to influence customer purchase decisions, but when store service climate was higher, customers spent more time in the store and reported being more likely to return and to recommend the store to others. Display rules are generally intended to promote good customer service. In a related study, Schneider, White, and Paul (1998) report that perceptions of service quality lead to customer retention. Specifically, they found that bank branches with stronger service climates, as measured by employee perceptions of expectations, supervisor support, and resources, were perceived by customers as providing higher service quality over a number of years. They also found that there was a significant relationship between customer perceptions and service climate is successive years. Display rules also play a role in maintaining harmony within organizations (Cropanzano et al., 2004). The conflict literature suggests that conflict with coworkers produces a significant portion of the emotionally challenging situations that arise at work (Gamero, Gonzalez-Roma, & Peiro, 2008; Jehn & Bendersky, 2003). Interpersonal conflict within nurse teams is a well-documented source of distress for nurses and patients (e.g. Almost, 2006). Cox (2003) showed that intragroup conflict in nursing teams was negatively related to team performance. In this study, nurses who reported higher levels of intrapersonal conflict within their groups were much less satisfied with their job.

22

Groups with higher levels of perceived intragroup conflict also reported lower perceptions of team performance. Unfortunately, objective measures of team performance were not reported. Yang and Mossholder (2004) have argued that integrative display rules for suppressing negative emotions within groups are effective at reducing task and relationship conflict. This review provides ample evidence that the organization benefits from strong integrative display rules. However, there is also reason to believe that display rules can have an adverse impact on individual employee well-being (Hochschild, 1983). In one example, Schaubroeck and Jones (2000) found that perceived demands of headquarters employees to express positive emotion and suppress negative emotion were both positively related to physical complaints. There are other examples, but I will take this issue up more fully later in the paper. Display rules for coworkers. Thus far, I have introduced the types of display rules that exist in the workplace and their purpose. There are two additional display rule issues I wish to address before moving on. The first issue I will address is the target of display rules. As discussed earlier, theory suggests that specific display rules will exist between coworkers to improve performance and maintain harmony (Cropanzano et al., 2004; Grandey, 2000; Hochschild, 1983). The early qualitative investigations provide pointed examples of display rules between coworkers. Shafaeli and Sutton (1989, p. 3) recount the expected emotional displays between restaurant employees: The waitresses have to be nice to the bartenders because we need our drinks fast. The bartender has to be nice to us because if our customers complain it is his

23

fault. The cooks are the least dependent on others, but they have to be nice to the waitresses to get the secret drinks we bring them from the bar. Martin and colleagues (1998) also provided a picture of strong feminist display rules between employees across the corporate offices of a cosmetics firm. It becomes clear in their depiction of the Body Shop that newcomers, even at relatively senior levels, faced overt pressure from peers and supervisors to conform to norms of bounded emotionality in the workplace. Bounded emotionality was defined as: build interpersonal relationships though improved mutual understanding of work-related feelings, to foster community rather than to further the efficiency or productivity goals of the organization (Martin et al., 1998, p. 436). They even provide examples of employees who were forced to leave the company because they didn’t fit in and conform to these norms for emotional display. There has been a relative dearth of empirical research that considers coworker display rules in addition to customer display rules. In a notable exception, Diefendorff and Greguras (2009) demonstrated that display rules for coworker interactions existed and were unique from display rules toward customers. In their study employees from a variety of occupations were surveyed. The results suggested that perceived display rules for suppressing emotion was much more common than for expressing emotion. Despite this finding, complete suppression was relatively uncommon. Even for negative emotions, less than half of the display rules were reported as requiring employees to completely suppress an emotion. Most rules involved showing positive and negative emotion, but with less intensity than was experienced. Supplemental analyses revealed

24

that display rules were more likely to include stronger deamplification or complete suppression of negative emotions if the target of the display was a customer versus a coworker. This suggests that display rules for coworkers are unique and may dissociate from display rules for customers. In the current study, I will analyze both targets of display rules. Group display rules. The last issue that I will take up regarding display rules regards group level influences. As discussed earlier, display rules are by definition a social phenomenon arising from societal, occupational, and organizational level influences. Yet, the extant literature has largely focused on organizational influences and has frequently operationalized display rules as individual perceptions of expectations for appropriate emotional displays (e.g. Diefendorff & Greguras, 2009; Grandey, 2003). Therefore, despite the higher level theoretical basis for the development of display rules, there have been few attempts to actually operationalize display rules above the level of the individual. Work groups have similar interests in monitoring and moderating the emotions of their members in order to achieve group performance goals and maintain group harmony as were discussed previously. Therefore, developing emotion-regulating norms should be a core consideration in many groups (Yang & Mossholder, 2004). These group level norms can arise through normative rules that are enforced through sanctions or through collective support and encouragement (Barsade & Gibson, 1998; Kelly & Barsade, 2001). For example, at the Body Shop employees in the marketing department were encouraged to express their feelings and new employees and managers who did not conform to these

25

norms were counseled and even fired (Martin et al., 1998). At the work group level, there is evidence that norms are much more likely to emerge out of adaptive common practice rather than conscious design (Opp, 2002). Social information processing theory (Salancik & Pfeffer, 1978) predicts that an individual’s perceptions of job demands will be strongly influenced by the beliefs and actions of others around them. There is limited support in the extent literature for group level influences on display rules. Martin et al. (1998) found qualitative evidence that different departments within The Body Shop had unique display rules that were consistent with the overall organizational philosophy. One division in particular demonstrated much stricter and tightly enforced rules of expressivity. An instance is reported in which a manager opted to defer negative feedback to an employee because he did not have time to “put the pieces back together” (page 449) before his vacation. There is only one empirical study of group display rules that I am aware of (Diefendorff, Erickson, Grandey, & Dahling, 2008). This study examined 100 teams of nurses from two hospitals. They predicted that group display rules would be shared within nurse teams and that these group level display rules would predict the emotional labor of individual nurses. They found significant levels of agreement in display rule perceptions towards patients within nurse teams. They also found significant differences in group level display rules between teams. Therefore this study provides initial empirical support for group level influences on display rules. The current study will attempt to advance both of these issues and investigate group level display rules for displays toward coworkers as well as patients while keeping the societal, occupational, and organizational influences constant.

26

Emotional Labor If display rules describe the expectations for emotional displays at work, emotional labor has come to describe the process by which individuals comply with those expectations. A wealth of previous research on emotional experience and expression indicates that individuals can modulate their emotional response and expression in order to comply with display rules. Hochschild’s (1979) seminal work introduced the concept of emotion work as the active monitoring and management of emotion in response to feeling rules. She defined emotional labor as “the management of feeling to create publicly observable facial and bodily display” (Hochschild, 1983, p. 7). Hochschild’ conception of emotional labor was drawn from a dramaturgical model and was shaped by her belief that emotional labor was a form of workplace oppression. Gross (1998b) brought a social psychological perspective and a more empirical approach to emotional labor. He developed a framework of emotional regulation that considered our response to emotions that arise in all contexts of our daily lives, both at and away from work. The concept of emotion regulation suggested that individuals were able to develop a range of conscious and unconscious strategies to influence what, when, and how they experience and express emotions. His typology divides emotion regulation processes temporally into antecedent focused strategies (situation selection, situation modification, attentional deployment, and cognitive change) and response focused strategies (suppression). Gross further predicted and demonstrated that the different emotional regulation strategies yielded different physiological and psychological consequences (Gross, 1998a, 2002). More specifically, antecedent focused strategies

Full document contains 104 pages
Abstract: Emotions are an important part of the workplace. Emotional labor describes the monitoring and management of one's emotions at work. Employees perform emotional labor in response to explicit and perceived display rules for emotional expressions in the workplace. While compliance with these rules is generally beneficial for the organization, it may be detrimental to employee well-being. This study proposes a process model of emotional labor that extends from display rules to job attitudes and behaviors. It is unique in that it investigates display rules and emotional labor at the group level of analysis. It also includes coworkers as well as customers as targets of emotional labor. Display rule commitment is proposed as an important moderator between emotional labor and important individual job attitudes and behaviors that may account for previously mixed findings in the literature. The hypotheses of this study received general support. Specifically, group level display rules and emotional labor were viable constructs that had important consequences for job outcomes. Display rule commitment was an important predictor of job attitudes and behaviors and moderated the relationship between group level surface acting and emotional exhaustion. In addition, group level emotional labor showed a significant effect on a number of important job outcomes. It also moderated the relationship between individual level emotional labor and job attitudes and behaviors. These findings provide several promising new insights and directions for emotional labor research.